Since 1994, John has worked hard to help the underdogs in their fight against big corporations, big insurance, and big government. John and his wife, Julie, met when they sat together in torts class. They shared a belief that the downtrodden deserve a fighting chance, and based upon that belief, they began a 30+ year relationship of love and respect.
After graduating from law school, John and Julie bolted a trailer hitch to their 1988 Ford Taurus and headed out to Las Vegas. (That car was never the same.) Money was tight, and a loan was necessary to pay expenses while they studied for the bar. Both passed on their first attempt, and within a year, John moved on from working as an associate attorney to founding his own law practice.
Starting the new practice was tough, but John thrived in helping people solve their problems. From criminal matters to divorces to personal injury claims, John steadily grew his practice by doggedly pursuing his clients’ best interests.
As his skill and reputation grew, John took on more serious matters, including the case of Gilbert Aguilar, a death penalty case, against the Clark County District Attorney’s most experienced prosecuting team. The case involved an assault rifle battle with police and a devastating 911 call identifying Gilbert. While winning several not guilty verdicts on many of the counts against him, Gilbert was ultimately convicted of murder. However, by relentlessly focusing on Gilbert’s past history of abuse and neglect, John and his co-counsel proved that mitigating factors existed. The jury agreed, and Gilbert’s life was saved.
After zealously defending his clients’ constitutional rights in federal and state courts, including the Nevada Supreme Court. John shifted focus to personal injury and worker’s compensation cases. And that’s when John and Leonard Stone formed Shook & Stone.
At first, the practice was small, but John and Len fought hard for their clients, and the practice grew quickly. Since 1997, through their dedication to fighting for their client’s rights, Shook & Stone’s team has won over $500,000,000 in awards, settlements, and verdicts.
John continues to advance the cause of the underdog through his volunteer work, including serving as the past chair of the Nevada State Bar’s Client Security Fund, a fund designed to help victims of attorney fraud, and as a former member of the Board of Governors for the Nevada Justice Association.
John’s outstanding legal work has been honored by his peers with an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubble. An AV rating is given only to the top 10% of attorneys who possess the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards. John’s clients have also voiced their approval rating him as Client Champion – Platinum, the highest client-determined award available through Martindale.
The State Bar of Nevada has also honored John’s integrity, professionalism, and dedication by certifying him as a member of the inaugural class of Personal Injury Specialists. This certification is given only to those attorneys who dedicate their practice to personal injury, successfully pass a rigorous oral and written examination, and show successful completion of at least 10 jury trials to verdict. In addition, because of John’s legal acumen, the courts have selected him as an arbitrator for the Eighth Judicial District and as a special prosecutor.
John and Julie are committed to making their community better. In 2015, John, Julie, and their daughter, Alexandria, founded the non-profit charity, SpectrumConnects, which helps children on the autism spectrum meet and form lasting friendships based on similar interests, abilities, and location. This program continues through the auspices of Families for Effective Autism Treatment and has helped hundreds of kids on the spectrum live happier lives. If you have a child on the spectrum that you feel can benefit, more information about the program can be found here: https://featsonv.org/spectrumconnects. Additionally, John strives to help Nevada’s youth by teaching advocacy to high school students, acting as a volunteer mock trial coach.
John works to create laws that work for Nevada’s underdogs by serving as an active member of Nevada’s Citizens for Justice, which helps give a voice to injured and disabled Nevadans inside the Nevada Legislature. John has helped pass numerous pieces of legislation protecting the rights and lives of all Nevadans.
John has also worked to advance legal scholarship by publishing several articles discussing important aspects of Nevada law, including a discussion of Nevada Strict Product Liability laws ( https://www.shookandstone.com/blog/strict-product-liability/ ), an analysis of Nevada’s laws regarding liability waivers https://www.shookandstone.com/blog/defeating-a-liability-waiver/, and a review of Nevada’s medical malpractice laws (Nevada Medical Malpractice 101: An Overview of Nevada Medical Negligence Laws)